People are drinking a lot of nanoplastic particles with bottled water

Alfonso Maruccia

Posts: 819   +265
Yikes! Scientists have been studying plastic-based environmental pollution by looking at microplastic particles. A concerning study of microscopic plastic particles at the sub-micron level shows bottled water is more polluted than tap water.

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" provides an unprecedented look at the mysterious world of plastic pollution. A team of researchers at Columbia University developed a new optical imaging technology, which they used for rapid analysis of nanoplastic particles in bottled water.

The imaging solution allowed scientists to profile individual "nanoplastic" particles. Nanoplastics measure less than one micrometer or less than one-seventieth the width of a human hair. The Columbia team discovered an average liter of bottled water contains an astounding amount of plastic – about 240,000 sub-micron particles. This number is far greater than a 2018 study showing the average bottle held 325 micro-particles.

The Washington Post notes that research on plastic pollution during the past several years shows signs of microplastic in every corner of the planet. Microscopic pieces of plastic were identified on the deepest seabeds in Antarctica, in soil samples, in wildlife, and even in the human placenta.

The biggest issue with plastic materials is that they are constantly shedding. Like human skin, plastic containers slough off invisible particles into the food and water we eat and drink, and these microplastics are essentially becoming part of both the human body and the environment.

The dangers microplastics pose to human health are still under investigation. According to Wei Min, a Columbia chemistry professor and one of the study's authors, nanoplastic particles will eventually be more dangerous than whatever harm microplastics are causing now.

Previously developed methods to identify nanoplastics weren't precise enough to provide an accurate number of particles. The new technique employs two lasers aimed at a sample to observe and record the resonance of different molecules in the water. The researchers leveraged machine learning algorithms to identify seven different types of plastic molecules from a sample of three types of bottled water.

While researchers debate a potential link between microplastics in water and human health, this unprecedented study on nanoplastic detection should at least provide new evidence to fuel the scientific debate and an additional tool for further analysis. Mounting discoveries suggest that the fragmentation of plastic polymer does not stop at the micron level. Instead, it continues to form nanoplastic particles in quantities that are "orders of magnitude higher."

Permalink to story.

Plastic clothing will need to be banned at some point in the future. Washing machine discharge is a huge contributor of microplastics to water supplies
Plastics and our whole "disposable culture" need to go. I don't know why people are so fond of cheap garbage. People use to buy something once and then take care of it. Now we have this race to the bottom where we expect everything to be disposable.
Exposure to nano plastic is probably also increased with the temperature fluctuations and warmer climates. I've had a coworker as a daily routine take a frozen bottle of Poland Spring Water and then run it under hot water and then drink it warm. I told her to switch to glass because of this risk of absorbing plastic. Thank goodness she listened to me. If nano plastic is leaching off I would argue its with increased entropy especially with higher temperature naturally ( entropy is the movement of particles and colliding with each other ). The problem is you do not know how long the products are store in plastic and what temperatures conditions were they transported in. Another increased risk if the surface area of the plastic to liquid/food absorbed. At a minimum stay away from frozen meals with plastic microwavable storage and plastics that have a higher surface area such as very small plastic bottles. Glass is probably ideal to mitigate risk. Transferring liquids and foods in Pyrex glass and non plastic tumblers preferably without aluminum ( Contradictory evidence of dementia risk through high exposure ). Will humans evolve and make enzymes that metabolize nano plastics through natural mutations process or will it be survival of the wittiest and those who are hyperaware?
Last edited:
Plastics and our whole "disposable culture" need to go. I don't know why people are so fond of cheap garbage. People use to buy something once and then take care of it. Now we have this race to the bottom where we expect everything to be disposable.
mainly because the computer companies are glorified pc builder but with proprietary set of chassis, motherboard, CPU battery pack and charger.

USBC was not supposed to host proprietary software but I didn't know it existed in thunderbolt, so now USBC is USB TB a cureable disease that won't be cured. because every new generation of USB is now going to have such limits.
Not sure what do they mean by more plastic in bottled water. I buy bottled water, in glass bottles, and as article do not differentiate between types of bottles material does that mean glass bottles have equally polluted water?

And yeah, we should get rid of plastic from everyday life asap.
The oceans are full of plastic, along with the air and soil. It's in our food and water, it's everywhere. I was reading an article in Consumer Reports about the amounts found in everything from fast food meals to cans of Pepsi. Even if we stopped making plastic today and banned it all (which would be great but we won't), the planet is already so contaminated I don't think we will ever be rid of it. At least not in our lifetimes since it takes thousands of years to finally decompose.
I've switched to a glass bottles I got from buying a soy milk and syrup for a few months now. Maybe just suggestive thing but to me, glass bottle make the water taste a bit fresher.

glass is a neutral material that does not add taste/smell to beverage. plastic bottle and alumunium will add some taste/smell to your beverages. I once got a water in alumunium can in a hotel. that **** taste the worst.

when I first visited germany many years ago I was confused as to why they love their glass bottle (beer, apple juice, orange juice, etc) so much. then I understand why. as where I live it's difficult to find beverages (except beer) in glass container. when I was a kid in 90s cola and pepsi are sold in glass bottles here but they're now always in PET bottles.
Plastic should be banned from eating vessels like plastic, cork, and others.

I recently changed from plastic bottles to a glass jug and aluminum water bottles.
It's hard to avoid plastic these days. I carry an aluminium bottle for water but sometimes I forget it and then I have to drink out of plastic. It sux.
This concern over plastics is getting into the realms of homeopathy now. 240 sub-micron particles per millilitre, I wonder what that is in milligrams? Probably not even measurable.
(1000 years later )

A: Do you know what caused the extinction of the last civilization?

B: Meteoroid impact?
A: No.

B: Artificial Intelligence?
A: No.

B: World War III?
A: It's plastic! Ha ha ha...
I don't think I have much substance to talk, I had pika at a younger age and would chew on water bottle lids until they were scrap, hundreds of them.
I don't think I have much substance to talk, I had pika at a younger age and would chew on water bottle lids until they were scrap, hundreds of them.
From doing a simple Google search with a question is cancer on the rise? The results say they are. I lost my best friend to pancreatic cancer last month at the age of 39. Can it be lifestyle choices? Like eating gmo ( geneticly modified organisms), preservatives, artificial flavors and coloring, and now now plastic leaching into our foods? When we have big pharma sponsoring every News media outlet brought to you by rymes with izer do you really believe we will get the truth or studies without a conflict of interest? Thinking about all those pediatric products with pba free plastics was just replaced with another plastic 😳. We can't change the past, but going forward we can make personal decisions to mitigate risks of exposure imo.